Kami Huyse, the Oprah Winfrey in the world of public relations, says, “The first rule of social media is that everything changes all the time. What won’t change is the community’s desire to network.” The world is becoming smaller, thanks to the magnitude of information available on social media platforms alone. It is interesting, appealing, offbeat and what not! Sounds so much fun, right?
And then comes along a sector that is data-driven, rule heavy and some regulation lurking around the corner to stop you from unleashing your creativity, Rambo.
A BFSI sector client advertising on social media has to navigate a veritable minefield of rules, regulations and norms. And that is the biggest challenge we had to face when mapping out their social media strategy.
So, what did we do? How did we crack this tough nut?
Unraveling the Social Media Strategy
The audience is anywhere and everywhere which worked in our favour. But there was a gap here too! While some are well aware of the risks and ready to venture, many are eluded by the volatility of the trade. This meant that we had to scratch the surface of every platform to see where the social media strategy could find the solace that our client was looking for.
From Instagram to LinkedIn, we put out a variety of posts specific to each platform to validate their potential. While Instagram demanded mindful posts and easy to grasp information, Twitter needed us to tap the right nerve of trends and hashtags! The requirement was to tie almost everything to the crux of the matter – Investment! Be it a movie or the 10-year challenge, they wanted their content to be read by their potential users on all these days!
Client’s Perspective is Everything
Even though promoting products was the first thing we had on our minds, compliance regulations suggested that we had to stay away from promoting them. This is despite the historically high CTRs! Ahh the heartache!
Going with the current flow of imparting knowledge, our client’s approach was to educate the audience and encourage individuals from all age groups and backgrounds to come and invest in their services. Their main agenda was to open the bird-box and make people see the beauty.
Their audience could be anyone- a college student or a senior citizen. They wanted their buyer’s journey to start by landing at a point on the website and move on by exploring their other reading materials, products and services. This would then generate leads and these viewers would eventually convert into customers. The aim was to educate them first about the stock market and then their products, which would attract them to opt for their services on the backing of well-written articles and knowledge centers.
So our primary objective was to drive traffic to their website through social media posts. And the secondary objective was to increase their brand presence and page followers.
Since driving traffic to their website was the objective, we were not focused on the traction for each post. With oodles of information and research papers put up on the website to be referred by their target audience, they were looking for an agency that was aware of their market and their perspective of marketing. The user was expected to land at their website and it was our job to guide them to the information on what is the company extending towards its buyers. Right from its products to blogs on the latest events, the website was well-equipped with all data and information.
Being recognised as a top Social Media Marketing Company on DesignRush, we had a reputation to live up to and we did not shy from the challenge!
To extend their reach, they were more focussed on browser push notifications (BPN) for their user lists. When we stepped into the account, the aim was to grasp not only their target audience’s requirements but also the language and specific terms of the sector. We sensed the mood of the room for a few weeks to evaluate the performance of each of the activities they had going on to bring traffic to their website. Our analytics, content and design teams closely studied the competitors to understand what kind of posts would work best with the audience they were looking at before coming up with a social media strategy.
Pushing up to 8-10 BPNs in a day, they were bombarding their users with information which drew very few CTRs. What did you do when an app on your phone starts sending you a notification every 2 hours?
The client was fantastic! Very receptive to the suggestions and agreeable to experimentation. It was a perfect match for our creative juices to flow unchecked.
We started with a two-week long test where we reduced the number of BPNs to half the previous number. Along with a renewed approach at the content to make it more click-baity, the test proved to be successful with an increased CTR to show for it.
As our analytics team pitched in with their evaluations, we started introducing new social media properties. The company also organized educational and informative webinars for their TG. Before our intervention, these used to be a last minute promotion activity. However, we also aligned this process into a framework by creating a calendar and the social media posts for it in advance. This gave us a chance to promote the webinars well in advance to boost the registrations and views.
Apart from these changes to their existing promotions, we drew up a more holistic social media strategy to encompass the various channels.
What was new?
Our approach shifted from an all-platform-one-content approach to platform-wise customized approach. Twitter and Instagram were the focus and Facebook and LinkedIn a close second.
The first step was to understand and segregate the audience into separate buckets, create properties for them and create and follow a regular posting schedule.
Instagram was mainly used to channel the youth and the millennials. We appealed to their intelligence and philosophical side. We created new properties on Instagram to increase post traction and page followers. The objective was to create brand awareness amongst the youth. Since we took charge, the traction per post has multiplied 3x and there is a steady and considerable increase in followers month on month.
On Twitter, we employed a slightly different strategy. The objective was website traffic generation so we created posts linking back to the client’s blogs and educational pages. These posts were layered with current trends, festivals and topical events wherever possible. Apart from this, we also created and successfully ran organic and paid campaigns to leverage on certain events like Valentine’s Week, pre Budget campaign etc. We went the extra mile of live tweeting during investor conferences and special days like Budget Day etc.
Since user education was the goal, we also took Quora in our digital strategy. We assisted in writing answers for C level executives and for the brand. These answers served a 3 fold purpose- driving traffic, increasing brand awareness & creating a specific image and lastly, creating a bank of backlinks to benefit offsite SEO.
Whew! All this was easier said than done. The demon of regulations was always snapping at our heels threatening to throw all our strategy out of whack at any moment. However, what we did can be put better in a quote by Molière – “The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.”